Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Roundup

Press Releases
TAS-CAS has announced the Gatlin decision, and told him in no uncertain terms to take a hike. Full award not given, only a summary. We see now a convincing example that the strategy of a non-cheating athlete shutting up, cooperating, and trying to work within the system does not provide any improvement on the result.

OK, not totally screwed, "each party shall bear its own costs."


AP/Eddie Pells' report on the Gatlin ruling is the best of the bunch, with reaction quotes from all the expected parties, and reasoned insight. Suh doesn't rule out other action, but it's hard to imagine anything working; Gatlin is pleased not to have been given a life ban, and everybody else is happy he's out of this year's Olympics saying how well the system works and how fair the result has turned out to be.

Landis won't take comfort in the start of Gatlins ban being moved back, making it a longer ban than before the appeal.

AmLaw also covers, indicating Suh had a con-call for reporters. We didn't know.

Pass the Popcorn's Mike Gunn posts a a good, long interview with "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" director/creator Chris Bell after the movie's limited release. In the piece Bell gives some thoughts on Floyd Landis, who in this interview seems to feel doped his way to a Tour de France win:

"Then there’s an interesting case with Floyd Landis, a guy who made a triumphant comeback, and then we find out he used drugs and it’s so disappointing, especially to the kids. I think that’s a big problem with all this. Kids look up to sports heroes and we put them on pedestals and we say, “That guy’s a winner and he’ll do anything to win.” And then when you have to break the news to your kids that the guy was using steroids; what do you tell your kids?

This is different than an earlier interview. And later,
Stan Lee created these super heroes and he says that people need these super heroes because they need somebody to look up to: somebody to admire. And I think in a way, it’s funny—because Floyd Landis grew up in a Mennonite family, and Mennonites are much like Amish, and they don’t have any heroes. When I asked Floyd who his hero was growing up he said, “Nobody—the mountain. The mountain I had to climb was the thing I had to fight. I was never into that, or aspired to be like anybody; I just aspired to be the best bike rider I could be.” And I thought that was interesting. And he said, “You know, my daughter is growing up and I don’t want her to have these heroes; I don’t let her have these magazines and all these different things—posters on the wall of people—because I don’t think that that’s right.”

It is playing near TBV, so we'll try to go see and make our own review this weekend.

The CyclingNews notes the ASO's burgeoning monopoly of premiere European cycling events with its acquisition of 49% of the Vuelta. In other news Michael Rasmussen finally got face to face with former employer Rabobank in court yesterday.

In Later CyclingNews it is reported that all 20 teams participating in the Tour de France have signed anti-doping contracts with the ASO, this time without the recommendation of Eric Boyer:

In order to protect the image of the race, organizer ASO included a set of rules to follow in the case of an emerging doping affair. "If a rider tests positive during the Tour, or if a positive test prior to the Tour is made public during the event, and if there is a verified complicity of the team staff, the team will be asked to leave the Tour and to pay a fine of 100,000 Euro. To me, that is completely legitimate," said (the AIGCP's Eric) Boyer. "In the event of a positive doping case where the rider acted on his own, there will be no fine and the team will be allowed to stay. If there is a legal dispute, the Chambre arbitrale du Sport (the Arbitration Chamber of France's National Olympic Committee - ed.] will rule on the case within 24 hours. Its decision will be binding for both the organizer and the team."

Because of the long time span between the analysis of an 'A' and 'B' sample, the anti-doping clauses will take effect immediately after a positive 'A' test. "For the sake of precaution and to protect the image of the race, it has been agreed that the testing of the 'B' sample will not be waited for," Boyer explained

The "formal" elimination of the "A" and "B" sample protocols by the ASO must be viewed as a severe blow to the rights of the riders, which have been almost beyond tenuous. Obviously protecting the "image of the race" is all that is important, nothing more.

The Boulder Report
can't help but find glaring similarities between Dean Wormer and Pat McQuaid whose "generosity" towards riders going to the Tour de France this year has about as much impact as his threatened sanctions against those who went to Paris-Nice. Joe Lindsey also comments on the new "dopers suck" blog posted here.

China Daily is catching up with "the dope on cycling" in which Floyd Landis is singularly "revilified".

Reason argues that "brain doping" on campus is OK.
It's time for such authority figures to admit that performance-enhancing drugs are already part of everyday life for a great many rational, healthy adults and that their use can no longer be dismissed under the title of "abuse" or "cheating."

Time for a cup of coffee.

StLouis Today Jog Blog headlines the Gatlin award as, "Track tries to clean house before company comes this summer", making it clear it is about the Olympic image, not the specifics of the case. It also talks about Michael Johnson, and finishes with this:
Why is Floyd Landis still waiting for the CAS decision in his case? It’s been almost two years since he originally was charged with doping after winning the 2006 Tour de France. By the time they rule, his two years will be up. What if the CAS overturns the original ruling? What good will it do Landis then?

Lobo's Rants gives a positive review, and thinks the interviews are terrific.
What I thought was going to be a ‘just say no’ diatribe turned out to be so more more. Well done.

Mary B Side ties things to Sex and the City:

The point is, through the seasons of sports and Sex/City, we've seen even the most successful and likeable guys go down.
• Bill Belichick, you huggable hoodie bear, you. Spying is cheating.
• Manu Ginobili, we loved watching you light up the Lakers, but flopping is dirty basketball.
• Michael Waltrip, you kinda look like a comic book hero in that blue super suit, but rocket fuel in the gas tank is cheating.
• Ben Johnson, you reminded us that even Canadians cheat.
• Floyd Landis, are you really still denying it?

They all cheat. Carrie once wondered what would constitute cheating in "a gravity-free world of anything goes?" [...] So in solidarity with the ever-stoic Samantha, I wonder if instead of wasting all this time condemning cheating, "maybe it's time we all got in line with the reality of the situation."
The line forms here. Single file, my friends. Even good guys cheat.

Whatever that means.

KWall was at Dana Point, seems to be unappreciative of Rock Racing's aesthetics, but passes on a Landis pic.

Marc Off the Back was also there, and thought Landis seemed a little buzzed while rapping on the PA.

Bicycling Betty found Arnie Baker to be a funny guy at a coaching clinic, but doesn't pass on any of the jokes -- rats.

Bikesnob NYC must be reading our comment sections. His recent glossary contains this definition:

Training With Power: Riding with your head up your ass. [e.g., Wearing a Bluetooth headset during a romantic dinner.]

Thanks for the reminder, BSNYC!

While TBV just set a 20 minute personal record for average watts of POWER on his lunch ride, and has a mountain to climb for two days, there is first, the matter of a dinner with Mrs. TBV this evening without the cell phone.

Have a nice weekend.


Unknown said...

Risk & Reward. My off the cuff reaction is that riders accepting conditions that remove the B sample analysis are fools.

Then again, B sample analysis hasn't done much to protect innocent or potentially innocent riders in the past.

Maybe they're just being realists?

It's all a lottery and the lottery might be rigged. Take your number....

whareagle said...

Sit in. Sit in. Sit in. I thought the discussion in the NY article was completly apropos.

erik k said...

hey, cool site, ya know what though I was mostly making fun of the component selection on the winning bike, the frames them selves are actually pretty cool. Although I'm definitely not a fan of using Esclades as team cars. but perhaps 5 dollar a gallon gasoline will put a stop to that. I hope floyd is innocent too!

wschart said...

Without an effective union to back the riders, ASO has them over a barrel. The Tour is such a premier event that it is almost impossible for riders to refuse to ride.

Even if there was a union, and a strike was implemented, would there be "replacement" teams recruited from the ranks of lesser teams? I'd imagine most if not all would not pass up a chance at riding, if offered.

So ASO can set rules as they see fit. And I'll bet there are riders who figure "what's the big deal about the B test, I ride clean."